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1887-1889 N172 Old Judge Collection (82)
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $9,000
Outstanding collection of eighty different (plus two duplicates) N172 Old Judges, including Hall of Famer John Clarkson, the majority of which present with outstanding photo contrast and image quality. Issued by Goodwin & Company from 1887 to 1890, N172 Old Judges are universally recognized as the premier nineteenth-century baseball-card set. Old Judges have always been appreciated for their great historical significance as the first major baseball-card set. In the "old days" it was possible to find these classics at shows, in auctions, and sometimes even at flea markets. As any collector of vintage cards can attest, these days Old Judges have virtually disappeared from the collecting landscape. In modern times, they rarely surface in quantity and the offering of a small lot, or even a few high-quality cards, makes serious collectors take note. These days, N172 Old Judges are often offered individually, and even "commons" can sometimes bring prices which just a few short years ago would have been thought appropriate only for Hall of Famers. The eighty-two cards in this lot are a substantial collection unto themselves.
Condition: With reference to condition, collectors tend to be much more forgiving with Old Judges than with other vintage cards, let alone more recent issues. 60% of the cards grade Vg to Vg-Ex with 30% grading lesser (mostly Gd) and 10% trimmed. All of the grades in the preceding composite are without reference to reverse flaws in the form of notations, adhered scrapbook paper, light paper loss, or glue marks, which affect a very large percentage of the blank backs and are so common and standard for Old Judges. There are so many cases when an Old Judge is technically in very low grade but is considered by collectors far superior to a high-grade example in terms of eye-appeal and desirability. In the old days, advanced collectors weren't concerned at all about whether there was glue, a little scrapbook paper, an ink stamp, or pencil notations on the backs of Old Judges. Just to have the card, hopefully with a quality image, was the whole point. Most, if not all, collectors interested in obtaining the entire Old Judge set today feel similarly. In the following listing, cards are identified by the numbers provided by the comprehensive Old Judge book checklist.
This collection consists of the following: #3-1 Alexander, 13-1 Arundel, 14-2 Bakley, 23-3 Bastian, 24-2 Beatin, 28-4 Bierbauer, 41-2 Brosnan, 44-4 Brown, 47-1 Brynan, 53-2 Burdock, 59-3 Burns, 60-3 Bushong, two 61-2 Cahill (one SGC FAIR 20), 67-2 Carroll, 71-2 Caruthers, 78-3 Clarkson (HOF), 103-3 Crowell, 106-3 Curtis, two 113-3 Dalrymple, 117-4 Darling (SGC POOR 10), 132-7 Dorgan, 138-1 Dunlap, 153-1 Farrar, 153-5 Farrar, 154-7 Farrell, 155-4 Farrell, 157-2 Ferguson, 157-3 Ferguson, 165-3 Fogarty, 170-6 Foutz, 184-2 George, 187-3 Gilks, 188-5 Gillespie, 189-2 Gilligan, 202-1 Gruber, 202-3 Gruber (SGC GOOD 30), 209-3 Hallman (SGC FAIR 20), 239-5 Hudson (SGC FAIR 20), 267-2 Knouff (SGC Authentic), 269-3 Krieg, 288-4 Madden, 310-3 McGeachy (SGC Authentic), 312-1 McGuire, 323-1 Miller, 323-3 Miller, 337-1 Myers, 337-2 Myers, 338-1 Myers, 356-5 O’Neill (SGC GOOD 30), 359-4 O’Rourke, 362-4 Patton, 366-1 Pfeffer, 370-4 Pinkney, 378-5 Radford, 402-2 Schildknecht, 404-1 Schoeneck, 406-1 Seery, 406-2 Seery, 408-3 Seward, 417-1 Shomberg, 417-2 Shomberg, 418-2 Shreve, 420-2 Slattery, 422-2 Smith, 425-1 Smith, 425-2 Smith, 430-5 Sommers, 431-4 Sowders, 432-3 Sowders, 433-4 Sprague, 433-7 Sprague, 435-2 Staley, 436-2 Stearns, 443-3 Stricker, 444-1 Sullivan, 444-5 Sullivan, 455-3 Terry, 458-2 Titcomb, 461-3 Townsend, and 500-2 Whitney.
Groupings of this magnitude are not often encountered, which makes this collection more noteworthy. This is an exceptional and very substantial collection of eighty-two cards from the legendary N172 Old Judge set, including a notable card of Hall of Famer John Clarkson. Total: 82 cards. SOLD FOR $9,000
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